Character morality, enjoyment, and appreciation: a replication of Eden, Daalmans, and Johnson (2017)

Koji Yoshimura, Nicholas D. Bowman, Elizabeth L. Cohen, Jaime Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Affective disposition theory explains that the perceived morality of characters plays a critical role in the experience of enjoyment, but is challenged by the apparent appeal of morally ambiguous characters (MACs). Therefore, it is important to examine the role of morality in enjoyment and to understand how viewers perceive characters of varying moral natures. Although previous research has indicated that different character types might have different patterns of moral upholding/violation, a recent study found that character types, including types of MACs, were not perceived to vary on specific moral foundations, but did vary in overall perceived morality across all foundations. To further examine whether distinct character types are perceived to have different patterns of perceived morality, this study replicated that recent study in a sample of US young adults, again finding that character types did not vary according to specific moral domains. However, findings associating perceived morality and entertainment outcomes did not replicate. This study contributes to entertainment research by demonstrating the reproducibility of these results and considering alternative explanations to those offered by the authors of the original study.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedia Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


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